Tuesday Watercolour Class – Week Two

I always enjoy painting pomegranates. Also, it gives me a chance to talk about reds and some brush-handling techniques. An artist can never do enough colour testing and, with watercolour, it’s important to practise your timing with soft-edge techniques.

The reds in my palette are Rose Madder Quinacridone and Permanent Red from Da Vinci. I tried them in different combinations, adding Cobalt Blue and Aureolin to create varying values and hues.

Sometimes, we paint the first wash of an object and it dries before we can touch in another colour or value. In the example below, I waited for the first wash to dry thoroughly. Then, I painted the shadow on the stem area with a darker wash and touched it’s edge in places with a damp brush.

Next, I painted a band of clean water across the upper middle area of the pomegranate. I started the dark wash on the lower edge of the water and continued it to the bottom of the object. The simplification of form creates a three-dimensional quality.


Partway through each class, I called the group over to show them some watercolours by a ‘guest artist’. Yesterday’s guest was Canadian artist Carl Schaefer (1903-95). Schaefer used a lot of soft-edge in his work but not exclusively. Often, he would build forms with repeated brushstrokes, giving objects an angular, chiseled look.

STILL LIFE WITH LANDSCAPE by Carl Schaefer (1903-95)

Here’s the student work from Tuesday. As you can see, they really applied themselves.

Tuesday AM Critique

Tuesday PM Critique




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3 Responses to “Tuesday Watercolour Class – Week Two”

  1. Philinda Masters Says:

    Now that I look at our guest artist’s painting more closely, I notice that he has, fortuitously perhaps, thrown in some lovely pomegranates to set off that sculpted look you’re talking about Barry.

    Susan P.

  2. lindahalcombfineart Says:

    When I see the photos of your student’s work it makes me yearn to sit in on a critique. They are very brave and seem to absorb your instruction. That’s great!

  3. Barry Coombs Says:

    The critiques are a very important element of each class. I always enjoy them and am aware that none of the work had existed three hours prior to the critique. It’s a stimulating experience. Next time you’re in town, drop by and sit in.

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